Bender Burns Hot as English Valleys Boys Best Tri-County

Tri-County’s Eli Molyneux tries to circumvent AJ Brun’s block attempt
Sean Strohmayer
The News-Review

NORTH ENGLISH—The English Valleys Bears hosted the Tri-County Trojans on January 17 for a South Iowa Cedar league East matchup. The Bears beat the Trojans by a final score of 61-33.

The Bears came in wearing lavender jerseys as it was Lavender Night at English Valleys high school. Lavender Night was a promotional night to bring attention to the Hope for All program. This program raises money for families that have been devastated by diagnosis of cancer. 

The Bears came storming out in the first quarter to the tune of a 10-0 run. Head coach Keshon Kennedy gave credit to his new assistant coaches for the quick start with, “Coach Titus and coach Bender drew up something that I thought would work, and it fit right into what I was trying to do.”

The Bears came out in a press to start the game that gave Tri-County a plethora of problems. Coach Kennedy spoke on this strategy with, “We wanted to come out and punch them in the mouth.” He went on to say that he has seen a consistent struggle from this team to start the game. The hope was to not find themselves in an early deficit that they have to overcome. The plan worked to perfection as the Bears stormed out to a 33-16 halftime lead. 

The second half was the Reese Bender show. Bender scored 18 of his 27 points in the third and fourth quarter. Bender himself out-scored the Tri-County team 18-17 in the second half. Myles Groves was the second leading scorer on the night for the Bears with 10 points.

The Bears out-scored the Trojans 28-17 in the second half en route to a 61-33 victory. 

Tri-County head coach Dylan Springer after the game spoke of how it was a tough night all around for the Trojans. He highlighted that he wants to emphasize working on pass selection, specifically where to pass the ball, when to pass and understanding whether a pass is dangerous or not. Overall, coach Springer just wants them to not let the pressure of the moment cause poor decision making.

English Valleys head coach Keshon Kennedy highlighted the game from Reese Bender by describing how great it was to see him put it together for all four quarters. Coach Kennedy went on to say, “It was one of the nights that he got into his zone, and it was over.” He went on to speak on the impact that Keshon Lundy brings to the team with, “He is our glue guy. He does the dirty work. He is a gritty guy.” Coach Kennedy highlighted the importance of Lundy’s leadership. “This is why he is one of our captains,” emphasized coach Kennedy. 

The Bears advance to 3-13 on the season, with a conference record of 3-9. They will return to action on January 20, when they visit the Belle Plaine Plainsmen. 

The Trojans fall to 2-11 on the season, with a conference record of 1-10. They will return to action on January 20, when they visit the Iowa Valley Tigers. 




The News-Review

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